By Joshua Maloni
Hard Rock Cafe, Niagara Falls USA, presented a $5,000 check to the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame’s Musician Medics program on Tuesday. Funds came as the result of a 2019 Hard Rock Heals Foundation grant awarded to the Prospect Street restaurant.
Musician Medics began in 2013 with a goal to “provide comfort through the power of music to individuals and families during their time of need.” The program debuted in Niagara County in 2018, thanks in large part to an initial $5,000 donation from the Falls Hard Rock and Hard Rock Heals.
“Hard Rock Cafe prides itself on our philanthropy, and every year we are so happy to award local charities and foundations with funds for their much-needed programming,” Sales and Marketing Manager Cara Turner said. “Without this money, they can't really expand these programs.”
“We just want to thank the Hard Rock for this amazing ongoing relationship. We also want to thank them for the relationship with Hard Rock Heals,” BMHOF President Anthony Casuccio said. “The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) organization, honoring those musicians who’ve made an impact in the Western New York music scene. And we also have some other programs, and one of those programs is the Musician Medics.”
Program director and BMHOF inductee Richard Sargent said, “We are deeply honored by the gifts, last year and now this year, from the Hard Rock Heals Foundation. They do an amazing job all around the world. They give away millions of dollars to help people who are sick, and help their transition from illness to wellness.
“We've been doing this program, Musician Medics, for five years now. Last year was the first year we benefited from the grant from Hard Rock, and we were able to reach 100,000 impressions – meaning patients, parents, nurses, doctors, anybody in the hospitals, in the VA, organizations. We're doing memory care now, through the Music Remember program.
“We’re just thrilled that we can do this, and this gift enables us to do so much more – and we’ll be doing much more this year. Thanks to Cara for spearheading (it).”
More than two-dozen artists volunteer as part of the Musician Medics program.
Sargent explained, “We use some of the best musicians in the area. They basically volunteer. They get gas money. They're fabulous.”
Hard Rock has a longstanding relationship with the BMHOF.
Turner said, “Buffalo musicians – we have a lot of them in this area, and we have some great memorabilia right in the room next door here,” which is the physical Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
In fact, the Niagara Falls café houses a collection of items from Buffalo music legends including Rick James, Brian McKnight and the Goo Goo Dolls.
Turner said the Hard Rock Heals Foundation selected the Niagara Falls café for a grant from out of 200-plus properties around the world.
Hard Rock Cafe is located at 333 Prospect St., Niagara Falls.
For more information on the BMHOF, visit http://www.bmhof.org/.